If you're thinking about adding a pet to your family, it’s best to learn about the needs of different types of pets to find one that will best suit your lifestyle.
Each type of pet is very different in terms of care, feeding, behaviour, cost, housing and demands on your time.
If you know what you’re getting into, you’ll be more likely to have a happy animal, a good relationship with your pet, and an easier time dealing with any challenges that might arise.
Look at your living situation
Do you live in a high-rise apartment, or do you have a big home and garden? Will your family have room for this pet? Animals such as horses and big dogs take up a lot of room. Small animals in cages, such as gerbils, rabbits and hamsters are good pets if your space is limited. 
Do you have the time?
Consider the ability of your family to care for a pet. Are both adults working or don't have time for round the clock care? Are the children old enough to help take care of the animal? Looking at your family's ability to care for  a pet can determine whether you need a more low-maintenance animal or can accommodate a higher-maintenance one. 
Consider the ages of your family members
Are the kids still too young to help take care of the animal? Remember, small dogs and small children can be a bad combination, depending on the temperament of both the animal and the child.
Do you have the financial resources?
Some pets can be much more expensive to care for than others. Take into account the expense of pet food, vet bills, and grooming. If your pet has a medical crisis and has high veterinary bills, or needs boarding when you’re on holidays, will you have the funds to cover this?
Will you have help?
Do you have someone who can be a secondary caregiver if you are away from home? If not, how will you provide care for your pet when you travel?
Take allergies into account
Is one family member allergic to cat hair, for example, that rules out bringing a feline friend into the home.
Take fears/phobias into account
Discuss the fears of family members. Is someone afraid of lizards or snakes? Cross those reptiles off your list of prospective pets.
Hold a family meeting
Sit down with your family and discuss whether your family is ready to care for an animal. See if you can reach an agreement on what type of animal you would like to bring into the home. 
Take your time
Choosing an animal is a big responsibility and commitment, and not a decision that should be rushed. Depending on what type you choose, they could live for more than 15 years. Can you honestly see yourself owning a pet for that long? If not, re-evaluate your requirements for a pet.
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